Friday, October 24, 2014

We're Engaged!

If you're wondering where I've been or why I've been so silent the past several weeks, I have good reason.  Things have been quite busy, but very good.

The first major thing taking up quite a bit of my time was the MTI auction which took place on Saturday, October 11th.  This was my 6th auction for Medical Teams, and it went very well.  It was a wonderful evening with a silent auction, our new Impact Market, and a dinner and live auction.  Our guests were quite generous and we raised a record amount of $1.4 million.  Amazing!

Some people compare the auction to childbirth: 9 months of preparation all culminating in a quite intense and stressful event with an amazing result at the end.  I see it as a really long marathon, in which you just can't wait to cross the finish line.  Needless to say, it's exhausting.

I always look forward to the day after the auction with anticipation of sleeping in, relaxing and doing pretty much whatever I want or don't want to do.  However, throughout the week Chris kept checking in to make sure that we were still going to go to church on Sunday, to which I kept replying that I would really like to play it by ear since I'm sure to be exhausted.

But we did decide to go to the 10:30 service on Sunday since it is one of our favorite things to do together.  Chris came over to my house before church and we were able to enjoy good conversation over a cup of coffee.  When it was getting close to time to leave, I told him I was going to go upstairs to change clothes to which he said, "Oh, what are you going to wear today?"  I gave him a strange look and responded, "I don't know. I'll probably just look in my closet and pick something."  That was weird, but whatever.

The church service was wonderful and we decided to go to brunch afterwards like we usually do.  Chris really wanted to go to Jam on Hawthorne (where we went on our first date), but I insisted that we go to Slappy Cakes.  After brunch I told him that all I wanted to do that afternoon was take a nap.  I'd been looking forward to that nap for 9 months now.  But he really wanted to go for a walk.  I pushed back and so did he and I finally started picking up on his slightly unusual behaviors and decided that I should just go along with the plan.

So we drove to Mt Tabor to go for a quick Sunday afternoon walk.  I was starting to get suspicious, and as he got out of the car I thought to myself, "Surely he doesn't have a ring on him right now.  I'm going to watch to see if he gets anything else out of the car."  Sure enough, he opened the trunk and grabbed his jacket.  I decided that even though I wasn't going to take my purse on the walk, I would grab my phone... just in case.

We got to the top of Mt Tabor and stood and enjoyed the view of the city.  A woman was walking by with her husband and dog and Chris said, "Let's see if this woman will take our picture."  Another odd behavior: we are so bad about taking pictures together and this was a really random time to take a picture.  The kind stranger snapped some pictures using my phone then showed us the pictures.  "These look great.  Thank you."  I said.  But Chris handed her back the phone and said, "Could you take a few more?  Maybe we could try something different.  Maybe a different pose.  Maybe like this..." and he pulled a box out of his jacket pocket, got down on one knee and said, "Will you marry me?" 

I was so surprised by that moment and had to take a second to take in everything that was going on around me.  Freeze frame...
1) Chris was on his knee: which I'd never really thought about this, but that's actually an odd position as he was not standing face-to-face with me).
2) there was a sparkling diamond ring in an open box in his hand: was I supposed to look at the ring? should I put it on my hand?
3) there was a complete stranger with a camera standing very close to me, sharing this moment with us - thankfully she was quick enough to realize that she should be snapping lots of pictures at that moment. (Imagine the stories she must have been telling her friends over dinner that night!)
4) the stranger's dog was licking my leg.  enough said.

After what was probably about 6 seconds (but felt like 6 minutes to Chris), I finally said YES! and then I think I said, "Will you please stand up? I don't know what to do!"

We hugged (there might have been a kiss) and Chris slipped the ring on my finger.  The woman handed me back my phone, said Congratulations, and continued her walk with her husband and dog.

Just a normal Sunday afternoon walk...

...that turned into the best walk ever.
*note the dog*

Chris and I sat on a bench on the top of Mt Tabor and facetimed with our family.  That evening, we went to a Trail Blazer game with some friends.  Just 6 months and one week after we met at a Blazer game, we were back at the Rose Garden arena celebrating our engagement.  What a perfect end to the perfect day.
I couldn't be more excited to spend the rest of my life this such an amazing man.  He brings me such joy.  I can hardly remember my life without him, and I couldn't have dreamed of a better partner to get to walk down this path with.

In Chris' Words...
On Sunday morning, I met Mary at her house as she was getting ready for church. We went to service, where we both received well a sermon on Zacchaeus, and then I asked (insisted) on brunch afterward. My intentions were to take her to the site of our first date, Jam on Hawthorne, but she instead asked if we could go to Slappy Cakes on Belmont. I obliged.

It occurs to me I was being more sentimental than usual during the morning, and she became slightly suspicious. I, of course, had been carrying a ring in my pocket, and was likely more nervous than I realized.

After brunch, I again asked (insisted) that we go for a walk on Mt Tabor. She refused at first, being tired from a long several weeks of preparation for the MTI Auction. Seeing my plans begin to evaporate, I continued to press her to join me for a short walk. Eventually, she relented and we drove up Belmont toward Mt Tabor.

When we got there, I grabbed my jacket (which contained the ring), and we walked up to a spot that allows you to see straight up Hawthorne toward the city. I suggested we ask a passing couple to take our photo, which again raised her suspicions. A kind lady agreed, and took a photo on Mary's camera.

After the first photo, I asked her to take one more. At that point, I fumbled for the ring in my pocket and got down on one knee. I asked her if she would marry me.

Mary stood there, apparently stunned for several seconds that felt like years. Finally, she said yes, and I stood up to place the ring on her finger.